Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How to use 'berjaja' and 'menjajakan' correctly

In Malaysia, we have the chance to see 'hawkers' or vendors who sell things from place to place everywhere we go. Sometimes, they call out the names of the items or food sold. In the Malay language, they are known as 'penjaja'.

In reference books written by writers who do not pay attention to standard usage or for that matter the grammatical aspect of the language, the following sentence often appears in their books:
Mak Minah menjaja kuih-muih di tepi jalan. [wrong]

The above sentence should have been: 'Mak Minah menjajakan kuih-muih di tepi jalan.' [Mak Minah is selling various 'kuih' (something like cakes in English) by the road through hawking.']

The word 'menjaja' is not in the dictionary and hence non-existent. However, you can use 'berjaja' the intransitive verb for 'to hawk'. A sentence such as the one below can be constructed to show its correct usage:

Ahmad berjaja untuk menyara keluarganya. [Ahmad sells things by hawking to support his family.]

I hope by now readers and students of the Malay language are clear about the usage of 'berjaja' and 'menjajakan'. Remember not to use 'menjaja' anymore as it is non-existent.

1 comment:

Perrine Renoir said...

wow, thanks for the lesson. it never occured to me before to study malay though someone close to me is half-malaysian, but really --- it's good to know. :) thanks for sharing.